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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default About murder hobo's

    Some people just want to see the world burn. Others just blatantly want to kill everything you throw at them in an rpg. Almost literary as I once played in a party where one of the pc's stabbed a ball where a little girls was playing with. The thing that is on my mind right now is that some people actually seem to enjoy playing a psychotic bastard and I just don't understand it. For me it simply destroys the fun in a game. I am trying to create a marvelous story with my friends. When someone just want to stab and burn everything around it... Well, the wanting isn't a problem, but they really do it.

    A few weeks ago I was DM for a small session. I'm not very experienced at all, its only my second try at DM'ing. And since not everyone could make it to the main campaign, I gave it a go with an in-between session. At the last minute someone asked me if he could join my game and I was like: "sure." But his character was simply a mindless beast. The kind that would probably not last long from a realistic point of view. When he found his three newborn children, he set them and their mother ablaze without a single thought.

    Someone else crossed the path of a little girl who was playing with a ball. When the ball rolled towards him, he drew a dagger and stabbed it. When the girl started crying, he threatened her. When my character intervened, he threatened my character, then he threatened the guards trying to arrest him. When in jail, he started beating on his fellow prisoners for fun.

    What is the best way to handle players who are like that? Or should I just accept it that some people prefer this playstyle?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    1. Talk to your players out of game.

    or

    2. Jail those crackpots. Schedule their grisly execution for next week. Send in Colonel Inglourious "You Owe Me One Hundred Hobgoblin Scalps" McBasterd to offer them parole if they undertake this insane suicide mission to Acceptabletargetstan.
    Last edited by Berenger; 2013-07-25 at 07:15 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Traab's Avatar

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    "Guys, this isnt that type of campaign. Feel free to murder everything that crosses your field of vision, just dont be surprised when a dozen high level guards shows up and arrests/executes you on the spot" That is honestly the best part. I bet if you DID have things work out in a reasonable way, ie the entire city of slobnovia now wants him arrested and/or killed, he would gripe up a storm about rail roading or some such stupidity. "Um, guy? You just comitted assault and murder and attempted murder about a dozen times each, all in plain view of a crowded city full of witnesses and the city guard. What did you EXPECT would happen?"

    Heh, of course this does bring to mind my old days playing Everquest and camping out in a city slaughtering the guards for experience and cash. (Hey, those guys tended to walk around with some fairly nice weapons and armor) Here I am in my spot, just standing there, with a pile of guard corpses waist deep around me. And I am amusing myself by putting this into realistic terms and counting the ways this does not compute.

    Oh sure, the guards hate me and will attack me on sight, but all I have to do is fall to the ground and pretend to be dead already and they stop chasing me and go away. Imagine if that worked in real life? "GET HIM! He murdered carl, lukas, stan, josh, jim, al, mark, paul, the other paul, and lance! Oh wait, he just fell over dead. Ah well, good work everyone, lets go home!" And so long as I hang out in an area where the guards arent standing, I can be in the middle of town square and noone else cares that this mass murderer who has single handedly crippled the entire city's guards, is walking around. They will also buy the (probably blood stained) armor that is clearly that of the dead city guards! "Wait, you have 15 full sets of freeport militia armor full of holes and blood stains to sell? Seems legit! How does 15 plat apiece sound to you?"

    Makes me think the type of guy doing that stuff you talked about probably played a game like this at one point.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    "No evil characters please"

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    This is how I DM:

    Only award roleplaying experience.
    Introduce long term and permanent wounds.
    Take away all magical and fast healing.
    New PCs start at square one.
    All obstacles you throw at them can be solved without violence.
    If you are a murder hobo then bounty hunters will hunt you down and find you, and they will attack when you're alone and unprepared, they won't show mercy.

    The answer to the question of killer PC is killer DM.


    Also, you should talk with the players about what the game is about. What they should expect from you and what you should expect from them. You always explain the rules and the goal of any game before it begins.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfram View Post
    "No evil characters please"
    Thats ok I am playing Chaotic Neutral

    I say talk to them out of game. Its always worth saying before the game starts what you expect from your players. If you say you are wanting to run a game where the players are heros and not murder hobos. Of course some players may not like this but they can vote with thier feet if they aren't happy.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by Guran View Post
    Some people just want to see the world burn. Others just blatantly want to kill everything you throw at them in an rpg. Almost literary as I once played in a party where one of the pc's stabbed a ball where a little girls was playing with. The thing that is on my mind right now is that some people actually seem to enjoy playing a psychotic bastard and I just don't understand it. For me it simply destroys the fun in a game. I am trying to create a marvelous story with my friends. When someone just want to stab and burn everything around it... Well, the wanting isn't a problem, but they really do it.

    A few weeks ago I was DM for a small session. I'm not very experienced at all, its only my second try at DM'ing. And since not everyone could make it to the main campaign, I gave it a go with an in-between session. At the last minute someone asked me if he could join my game and I was like: "sure." But his character was simply a mindless beast. The kind that would probably not last long from a realistic point of view. When he found his three newborn children, he set them and their mother ablaze without a single thought.

    Someone else crossed the path of a little girl who was playing with a ball. When the ball rolled towards him, he drew a dagger and stabbed it. When the girl started crying, he threatened her. When my character intervened, he threatened my character, then he threatened the guards trying to arrest him. When in jail, he started beating on his fellow prisoners for fun.

    What is the best way to handle players who are like that? Or should I just accept it that some people prefer this playstyle?
    What, are these players immature 12 year olds?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by Guran View Post
    A few weeks ago I was DM for a small session...

    When my character intervened, he threatened my character, then he threatened the guards trying to arrest him. When in jail, he started beating on his fellow prisoners for fun.

    What is the best way to handle players who are like that? Or should I just accept it that some people prefer this playstyle?
    I'm not clear, were you the DM or a player? In any case, the best way to deal with psychopaths is to treat them like psychopaths. You call the guards (if you're lawful or neutral), try to protect the innocents (if you're good or neutral), and if necessary take him down yourself.

    If you're the DM, I'm sure there are well-trained guards, other heroes, high priests, bounty hunters, or LG mages somewhere in your world. If he gets tossed in the clink and beats up other prisoners, it's solitary confinement in "the box" for him. And probable execution the following morning.

    Then you don't invite them back next time.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Unfortunately, in my experience, when someone approaches you about an RPG that you're playing, and they aren't a part of your normal group, there's only three reasons:
    1. They are a storytelling aficionado and want to build a cooperative narrative with other like-minded individuals (<1%. If this turns out to be the case, rejoice!)
    2. They want to experience what the heck an "RPG" is. (the grand majority. Of these, most will either find that the game is not to their liking, or will find their own fun by turning into option 3
    3. They want to have fun by killing things and taking their stuff (second part optional, sometimes).


    You can try and talk it out with the player outside of the game, but the only way to avoid it entirely is to talk to the players in advance, tell them your planned tone for the game, and ask them what they hope to get out of it. The players are the game, so know what to expect!
    There are no impossible encounters. There is only inadequate preparation.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    We played characters like this back when we first started gaming. We were about 12-13, and it didn't last too long. Oddly enough, the first thing we did when encountering new people outside of the beginning dungeon was try to talk to them. They attacked us so we went slaughtering things all over the place until we came to a town, then we calmed down and sold things and were generally good little adventurers.

    Then we played Hollow World where we were rather specific about our targets, restricting them to one race (wood imps) and one human culture (Azcans). The things we did were...probably not stuff I should relate here but we were brutal.

    It was fun. It was fun to do all sorts of disgusting and violent and evil **** (even if only one PC had 'Evil' on his character sheet - I was the poster child for "I'm not evil, I'm Chaotic Neutral"). But we were 12-13 and after a month or so of this we calmed down and worried more about local laws and culture and politics and diplomacy and story.

    So if this is the first time the players go bananas like this, I would just sigh inwardly and allow them to run rampant all over the place and kill indiscriminately and rape and pillage and burn with no consequences, even alignment ones. Get it out of their system. After a certain amount of time, talk to them and say "Now it's time to stop playing crazy and start playing the game sensibly". If the players want nothing but to be killing machines, ask yourself if you want to DM that and if not, tell them you won't.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    It's a phase. Let them play that way till they get sick of it. A lot of players like testing the bounds of their freedom so they do things they can't in real life, just to see where the lines are drawn. It gets boring though.
    If you like what I have to say, please check out my GMing Blog where I discuss writing and roleplaying in greater depth.

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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Choose your policy before you try to decide the details of following it. You have only three choices.

    1. You may fix it in-game. (Since this is an in-game problem, that's perfectly reasonable.) Guards arrest him, and any other PCs who defend him. In a medieval culture, he will probably be put to death soon.

    2. You may fix it out-of-game. Tell him that behavior of that sort is not fun for you or the other players. (Verify that this is true, first.) Then make it clear that he can choose to play the game the rest of the group are playing, or drop out. Treat him cordially in any case. There's nothing wrong with him wanting to play a different game.

    3. Don't fix it. Allow him to warp the game into what he wants to do.

    There are no other options. Pick the one you (and the other players) find most palatable. [Or pick the one you and the other players find least unpalatable.]

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfram View Post
    "No evil characters please"
    Its not evil! its chaotic tenancy's!!! But chaotic tends to be the new evil today for some reason.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by scurv View Post
    Its not evil! its chaotic tenancy's!!! But chaotic tends to be the new evil today for some reason.
    I rather hate it when players actually do that, mainly because I'm the poster boy for "chaotic neutral means unaligned rebel".
    Avatar by Gulaghar, thanks so much!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magtok
    If it'll keep you from linking that abomination ever again, then fine. You're evil enough. You win.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    I actually prefer 'Chaotic Neutral, not Evil' to 'Chaotic Neutral = Purple Banana Monkycheese Lolrandom'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    As has already been noted I'll chime in again;

    Clear GM/Player communication is critical. Before anyone stats up a character, the party needs to have had a clear communication about what is going on at the table. This can be a Moses-with-Tablets DM handing out of Campaign commandments with a "take it or leave it" offer, a party looking for common ground if they come from different backgrounds, a long running group making sure the next game reflects what the players and GM want, or many other formats, but it needs to happen.

    If you don't have this communication, you can expect significant table friction at best, outright intra-party or party v. world hostility, or a total breakdown of the game. My shortest ever campaign was a Spycraft game in which I did not do this and prepped a campy 70's feel campaign and had a party of gritty noir detectives with a lone James Bond guy show up to play in it.

    If planned for, even murder hobos can actually work in a very narrative consistent world. I had a blast once playing a party of mostly evil Dwarves who had been exiled from their kingdom for their bloodlust and violence, and now wandered the surface world looking to amass enough wealth to found a new kingdom more glorious than the one they had been booted from. They were violent, bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic jerks that respected no authority outside of Dwarven Law and heaped scorn on the one non-Dwarf, and they were soon unwelcome in most farms and villages, and wanted outlaws in one human kingdom, but it was a fun game... which it WOULD NOT have been if any one of the players or the GM had not expected the party of rude murder hobos and planned accordingly, or if the players had been shocked when attacking a bartender for "Looking kinda Orcy" brought the guard down on us and forced us to flee town... we knew what we were as did the GM, and so all was well.
    To Prevent Serious Injury: Be Awesome.

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by BlckDv View Post
    As has already been noted I'll chime in again;

    Clear GM/Player communication is critical. Before anyone stats up a character, the party needs to have had a clear communication about what is going on at the table.
    Yup. The biggest block to communication is the assumption that it has already occurred.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    From a DM perspective:

    1. Let player know that's not what this group is about.

    2. Let player know there are at least semi-realistic consequences to simply murdering everything in sight.

    3. Apply said consequences.

    4. If steps 1 - 3 fail to successfully produce a more positive gaming attitude, eject problem player.

    As a player it's trickier but I might discuss with the group before tackling the problem player about it. Or in character demand that they stop being a psychopathic spree-killer and enforce that in game, depends if I know the party will back me and/or I can easily kill them off.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    As others have said, talk to players outside of game an explain what you want from the campaign and why you find certain behaviors disruptive.

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by Guran View Post
    Some people just want to see the world burn. Others just blatantly want to kill everything you throw at them in an rpg. Almost literary as I once played in a party where one of the pc's stabbed a ball where a little girls was playing with. The thing that is on my mind right now is that some people actually seem to enjoy playing a psychotic bastard and I just don't understand it. For me it simply destroys the fun in a game. I am trying to create a marvelous story with my friends. When someone just want to stab and burn everything around it... Well, the wanting isn't a problem, but they really do it.

    A few weeks ago I was DM for a small session. I'm not very experienced at all, its only my second try at DM'ing. And since not everyone could make it to the main campaign, I gave it a go with an in-between session. At the last minute someone asked me if he could join my game and I was like: "sure." But his character was simply a mindless beast. The kind that would probably not last long from a realistic point of view. When he found his three newborn children, he set them and their mother ablaze without a single thought.

    Someone else crossed the path of a little girl who was playing with a ball. When the ball rolled towards him, he drew a dagger and stabbed it. When the girl started crying, he threatened her. When my character intervened, he threatened my character, then he threatened the guards trying to arrest him. When in jail, he started beating on his fellow prisoners for fun.

    What is the best way to handle players who are like that? Or should I just accept it that some people prefer this playstyle?
    that's not a murder hobo, that's just an a**hole.

    he is one of those that gives those of us actual murder hobos a bad name.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Arkhosia's Avatar

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Well, at least you probably won't have this happen to you!
    Again, I do agree on showing them the consequences of their actions whether they affect them directly or not.
    For example, if they murder a ton of police, the next time they visit the city, describe the city in chaos, with criminals killing, raping, robbing, and pillaging people in broad daylight to their hearts' contents, with the city guards powerless to stop them.

    Or, if they attack a powerful rogue's guild/cartel/crime boss with weapons that a weapons dealer is well known in selling, the next time they go to the shop they see the dealer dead, lying on the display cases of his shop, with them broken and the place ransacked, with the symbol of the orginization present.
    Last edited by Arkhosia; 2013-07-28 at 10:53 PM.
    Avatar by Gulaghar, thanks so much!
    "People wanted to be fooled. They really believed that you found gold nuggets lying on the ground, that this time you could find the Lady, that just for once the glass ring might be real diamond. You had to give them a show.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magtok
    If it'll keep you from linking that abomination ever again, then fine. You're evil enough. You win.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: About murder hobo's

    Quote Originally Posted by magwaaf View Post
    that's not a murder hobo, that's just an a**hole.

    he is one of those that gives those of us actual murder hobos a bad name.
    This is an important distinction. Originally, a murderhobo meant a standard D&D character, who went from scenario to scenario slaying the bad guys, taking their stuff, and moving on. The Lone Ranger qualifies, as did any classic bounty hunter or "wandering hero" cowboy of the 1950s.

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